The Racist Origins of Organic Farming

Organic Resistance

From UNC Press Blog by Venus Bivar author of Organic Resistance:  The Struggle over Industrial Farming in Postwar France:

The first French men to organise themselves in opposition to industrial farming, and they were indeed all men, included a neo-fascist, a handful of eugenicists, and several anti-Semites. The will to produce healthy food that was free of chemical residues stemmed from the desire to return the French race to its natural position of superiority. Pure food would build pure French bodies.

The racial politics of the organic model have in recent years come under scrutiny.[1]Scholars and critics alike have argued that organic consumption goes hand in hand with white privilege. The average Whole-Foods shopper or farmers-market enthusiast tends to be white. In short, it takes money to be a foodie, and in the United States, wealth is a function of race.

Organic farming in France in the 1950s was not white, at least not entirely, because of class reasons. It was white because its practitioners were proponents of eugenics who believed in the purity and the superiority of the French race.

Read the rest of the article at UNC Press Blog




Categories: European History, History of Food

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